Ben Evans (2005)

Ben Evans
August 12th, 2005

I’d be lying f I said this wasn’t my plan all along.

Tell the truth, though, the path hasn’t quite been what I’d envisioned.

Actually, as I wrote this I’m sitting in the boys’ greenie… but that’s a different story

And no, I didn’t wait until the dead-last minute… it’s just that after the celebration tonight, I really didn’t think my first set of words were adequate.

Ok, location change. Beachfront. Truly, the most beautiful weeks of my life have been spent here… cliche, I know, but true.

So at the heart of every closing campfire speech is the idea of what SJC means. So what does it mean to me?

Mary Lee could tell you. I’ve watched her during drumming, or playing mook jee bbah, or during junior classes learning, admiring, building an identity that’s more than facts and faces, moments and songs: it’s spirit. What people like her teach people like me is that the future is safe, bound only to be better than the now. Maybe people like me can make a difference.

Emily Evans could tell you. Truthfully, who knows me better? As her oppah, it has been my job to watch out for her, guide her, but she’s beyond that now, in terms of camp. No, she’s a senior girl, a member of the group that sets the pace even as the boys become the names. She’s seen me more into this role, full of intentions that spell out everything. Synonymous with “passing it on.” Because she has and always will be my first recipient. Maybe people like me can change the world.

Kavin Chung would tell you. The role model, the confidant, the friend… even as I move to become these things to a new group of people, he sets the standard incredibly high.

Kavin would tell you that to be on staff is not to need camp for yourself, but to need to give back all that camp has given you. And he would tell you, as I would, that the most sacred of moments come from that which is given, freely, in the spirit of camp.

The spirit of camp… once something I came to get, I now return to give. This, my friends, is why I believe so strongly in Sae Jong Camp.

Thank you, cabin 5, for teaching me how to be a counselor. I hope that your faith in me has been as strong as my faith in you.

I’d be lying if I said this wasn’t my intention all along. Frankly, though, I should’ve guessed at the path.

All good things come to an end… Sae Jong Camp, as I know it, is now passed into memory.

Yet, like our closing campfire, the ashes of each passing, uniquely beautiful year will be rekindled, and the spirit of camp will warm our hearts again.

I’ve always wanted to say that